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Inverness army soldier ordered to pay compensation for assault on fellow reveller on night out

By Richard McLaughlin

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Thomas Howells and Ian Mulroy outside the Inverness Justice Centre.
Thomas Howells and Ian Mulroy outside the Inverness Justice Centre.

A serving soldier has been ordered to pay compensation to a man he assaulted while on a night out in the Highland capital.

Ian Mulroy (19) repeatedly punched the man to the head forcing him to the ground before repeatedly kicking him on the body.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard previously that the man suffered pain to his ribs with a suspected fracture and a burst nose and lip during the unprovoked attack on December 23 last year.

The court was told that the victim had been on a night out with a friend and had gone to Max’s takeaway in the city centre for food.

They then encountered Mulroy and co-accused and fellow soldier Thomas Howells (19) on the High Street while looking for a taxi.

After being called homophobic remarks including a f****t and a p**f by Howells, Mulroy then carried out the assault.

Howells appeared in court for sentencing earlier this year and was ordered to pay the victim £1000 compensation.

Mulroy had his sentence further deferred until now for reports.

Defence agent Marc Dickson told the court that Mulroy had been at an emotional family event during the day and Howells had arranged to meet him for a night out in the city centre in a bid to try and cheer him up.

Mr Dickson said: "It had been a difficult day.

"Unfortunately he became very, very drunk."

The solicitor went on to explain that Mulroy was shocked when he saw CCTV footage of the incident and that he had very little recollection of what had happened.

Mr Dickson said: "Mr Mulroy was entirely intoxicated.

"It is in no way an excuse.

"He's clearly behaved in an entirely inappropriate way here."

Sheriff Gary Aitken was told that Mulroy had lost the chance of a possible promotion through the ranks and a transfer to another regiment as a result of the attack.

He will also face army disciplinary proceedings when he returns to Wellington Barracks in London.

Sheriff Aitken said: "This was an appalling offence that should never have happened.

"You're exceedingly lucky that the situation was not worse."

The sheriff pointed out that if the man had hit his head on the ground then he could have been facing a culpable homicide charge in the high court."

Mulroy was ordered to pay his victim £1500 compensation.

As he left the dock, the sheriff said: "I trust we will never see you back here again."

Mulroy replied: "Yes sir."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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